The New Asian City: Three-Dimensional Fictions of Space and Urban Form by Jini Kim WatsonThe New Asian City: Three-Dimensional Fictions of Space and Urban Form by Jini Kim Watson

The New Asian City: Three-Dimensional Fictions of Space and Urban Form

byJini Kim Watson

Paperback | November 9, 2011

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Under Jini Kim Watson’s scrutiny, the Asian Tiger metropolises of Seoul, Taipei, and Singapore reveal a surprising residue of the colonial environment. Drawing on a wide array of literary, filmic, and political works, and juxtaposing close readings of the built environment, Watson demonstrates how processes of migration and construction in the hypergrowth urbanscapes of the Pacific Rim crystallize the psychic and political dramas of their colonized past and globalized present.

Examining how newly constructed spaces—including expressways, high-rises, factory zones, department stores, and government buildings—become figured within fictional and political texts uncovers how massive transformations of citizenries and cities were rationalized, perceived, and fictionalized. Watson shows how literature, film, and poetry have described and challenged contemporary Asian metropolises, especially around the formation of gendered and laboring subjects in these new spaces. She suggests that by embracing the postwar growth-at-any-cost imperative, they have buttressed the nationalist enterprise along neocolonial lines.

The New Asian City
provides an innovative approach to how we might better understand the gleaming metropolises of the Pacific Rim. In doing so, it demonstrates how reading cultural production in conjunction with built environments can enrich our knowledge of the lived consequences of rapid economic and urban development.

Jini Kim Watson is assistant professor of English and comparative literature at New York University.
Title:The New Asian City: Three-Dimensional Fictions of Space and Urban FormFormat:PaperbackDimensions:312 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 1 inPublished:November 9, 2011Publisher:University of Minnesota PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0816675732

ISBN - 13:9780816675739

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Table of Contents


Note on Romanization
Introduction: The Production of Space in Singapore, Seoul, and Taipei

Part I. Colonial Cities
1. Imagining the Colonial City
2. Orphans of Asia: Modernity and Colonial Literature

Export Production and the Blank Slate

Part II. Postwar Urbanism
3. Narratives of Human Growth versus Urban Renewal
4. The Disappearing Woman, Interiority, and Private Space

Roads, Railways, and Bridges: Arteries of the Nation

Part III. Industrializing Landscapes
5. The Way Ahead: The Politics and Poetics of Singapore’s Developmental Landscape
6. Mobility and Migration in Taiwanese New Cinema
7. The Redemptive Realism of Korean Minjung Literature

Conclusion. Too Late, Too Soon: Globalization and New Asian Cities

Editorial Reviews

"This is an unusually interesting book. It is remarkable not because the New Asian City is analyzed in terms of the latest urban theory available, but because it demonstrates how much farther urban theory has to go to catch up with the Asian city." —Ackbar Abbas, author of Hong Kong: Culture and the Politics of Disappearance